Today I want to talk about the challenges that so many face when trying to do something out of their comfort zone.
We all go through these struggles and challenges. Everyone has challenges, obstacles, and fears. Everyone limits themselves in one way or another. But, it’s all a mindset.
In my opinion this stems from people not being taught how to think. Most people aren’t fully aware of what they are capable of and I blame our school system. See, the way the school system is set up in the United States is such that everyone is put into a box; everyone is expected to learn a certain way. It’s one way or the highway and that’s not a realistic expectation.
Not everyone learns the same – not everyone understands the same. The problem is that if you don’t get it, you’re made to think you’re stupid. You’re made to think you’re not good enough.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life thinking it was stupid.”
Think about that for a second.
If you’re taught one way, to do one thing, but it’s not your way of doing it – then you’re made to think you’re stupid. But, in reality, all you need is to be shown how to approach the problem differently.
Schools are always pounding their students to be perfect and failure and mistakes are frowned upon. The problem here is that success is a poor teacher.
Most people feel like everything needs to be perfect before they can move on to the next step. But, the reality is nothing will ever be perfect. You’ll never truly learn until you get out there and do it.
It doesn’t matter how much you plan or prepare – life always seems to have a plan of its own. But, that’s fine. That’s the beauty of it all!
It would be boring if everything turned out great every single time. There wouldn’t be any creativity or out of the box thinking. It would be a cookie cutter process and everyone would be able to do whatever it is you’re trying to master.
The reality is you’re going to mess up and you’re going to fail.
Perfectionism is NOT reality.
For you to expect that everything is going to be perfect is ludicrous. Now, I know there will be some people who will say, ‘well, if I aim to be perfect and fail, then at least I’ll be better then the rest – so I should always strive for perfection.’
Yes, that’s true. Always try and do the best you can. Always try and prepare as much as you can. But, don’t let that stop you. That is where people are getting hung up. They are waiting for the perfect time to take action. Do the best you can with what you have and push onward. Do not use this “perfection” bullshit as an excuse to stay stagnant.
Don’t pass up opportunities simply because you don’t feel ready. Truth is, you will never feel ready until you do it. It’s always scary to try something new and to step out of your comfort zone.
Don’t be scared of failing. Doubting yourself is normal anytime you are doing something that is out of your comfort zone.
But, don’t let doubt paralyze you. Acknowledge the emotion and move on. Do it enough times and soon enough you will feel comfortable feeling uncomfortable.
Whenever you are presented with a new opportunity, just say yes – even if you don’t know what to do. You can figure it out as you go. The outcome is never as bad as you think. It’s always worse in the imagination. People tend to make up insane fantasies about what might happen if they try something new and fail. Unless there is a chance you will die or kill someone – then go for it.
There’s a powerful book, The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. The entire philosophy is that you need to focus on the now. This is the only thing you can control. This is the only that matters.
The past has passed. It doesn’t matter what happened. It’s done. The only thing you can do about the past is to remember the lessons learned and forget the rest. It’s important to note you should remember the lessons, not the emotion. Reliving negative emotions will only bring you into a state of negativity. It does nothing else for you.
Moving to the other side of the spectrum: the future.
The future hasn’t happened yet. You can think about what might happen. You can worry about what might happen. But, you don’t really know if that’s what’s going to happen. This is all speculation.
The only thing you can control is now. Worrying about the future and worrying about the past only puts you in a negative/anxious state. So, forget about it. Instead, worry about what you are doing right now and take it one step at at a time.
Don’t worry about everything that needs to get done. Set small goals and worry about the one goal in front of you. Otherwise, you will create unnecessary anxiety that will make it difficult to move forward.
Nothing will ever be perfect. You just have to do it.
You’re going to mess up. You’re going to fumble. You’re going to look “stupid”. But, you will learn so much more than the person who doesn’t take action at all.
So, stop with the excuses and go after what you want.